First night in Queensland

There really is a canefield cloud
of smoke,
bleaching the mountains around,
blazoning the sunset.
They’re burning the stubble.
From the veranda,
I see it – misshapen mountains,
khaki grey hinter
land that is burning
alive
and unwell.

Dark sounds in the gullies –
cane toads and tiny lizards,
and the great pandanus
groaning against itself.

The ground is moving, slowly,
alert,
the sand heaves up clouds,
the tides
are ever so slightly changed.

Only the fishermen notice.
Retired and castaway,
they seek tailor after dark
with kero lamps and picnic stools,
line the beaches and watch the sky,
shake their heads,
and wait for the bite.

What do you think?

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